Guest Editor: Beer & Burger Pairings by Burger Weekly’s Brad Garoon

When it comes to pairing your booze and your food, thirsty. has you covered. To make their pairing coverage complete, I’m here from Burger Weekly to tell you the best way to pair beers with burgers.

Beer is truly the only appropriate beverage to accompany a hamburger meal. I say this from experience. I’ve had lovely meals that paired fancy burgers with champagne, and I’ve zipped through meals pairing whiskey with burgers. Both experiences are suitable enough, but to truly bring out the best of both your burger and your beverage, you need a beer.

Look no further than burger authority and crusader Danny Meyer for proof of the power of this pairing. Shake Shack and Brooklyn Brewery teamed up years ago to provide Shackmeister Ale for Shake Shack’s diners. Much like the burgers at Shake Shack, Shackmeister Ale goes down incredibly easy, and also like the burgers, it is far from a chore to put down more than one.

Shake Shack Brooklyn Brewery Shackmeister Ale

But not all burgers are created equal, and a more daunting hamburger experience requires a heartier beer. Take for example the Williamsburger at Cherry Izakaya. This restaurant’s goal is to channel the spirit of the traditional Japanese tavern. As such, the burger is hefty, packed with musky, meaty flavor, and topped with a sweet bun. The full-bodied Kagua Rouge is a perfect match for this burger both for its significant mouthy feel on the palate as well as its geographically appropriate origin.

Cherry Izakaya Kagua Rouge

You don’t need to look to expensive imported beer in order to have a good geographic pairing, however. While on a burger crawl in Harlem there is no better beer to pair with your hamburgers than Harlem Brewing Company’s Sugar Hill Golden Ale.

Harlem Brewing Company Sugar Hill Golden Ale

Many Harlem restaurants carry this brew, but the one that has it and grills its burgers best is BLVD Bistro. Like the Shackburger and the Shackmeister Ale, BLVD Bistro’s Burger and Sugar Hill are both easy to digest and palatable, but they each provide a more memorable, rich experience than the offerings from Meyers’ burger empire.

Make sure to hit up @ThirstyNYC and @BurgerWeekly on Twitter to let us know your favorite burger and beer pairings.

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